68 inmates were executed, having murdered at least
Victim Name & Case Information
In 1990 Lloyd Hampton was arrested as he drove
the car of Roy Pendleton, whose body was found at a hotel that had
become his home
after the death of his wife. Lloyd Hampton knocked on Roy Pendleton's door at the Troy hotel that had been his home since he was widowed. Hampton asked if he could use the bathroom, then robbed Roy at knifepoint. Roy was tortured by Hampton before he was murdered; his mouth, hands and feet were taped, he was hog-tied with a dog leash, teased with a chef's knife and his eyelid burned with a cigarette and forehead slashed before being stabbed to death in the neck. Police said that "he was cool as a cucumber. No remorse." A 7th grade dropout, Hampton had spent most of his life in prison, free for
only 4 years since 1973. Hampton had prior convictions for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, after torturing a woman in Bakersfield, California in 1987. He said he murdered Roy because he didn't want to be caught. He said, "My problem is, always has been, I don't give a damn."
Jose Jesus Ceja was executed for the June 30, 1974 shooting of
a young Phoenix couple during a robbery where he stole 70 pounds of marijuana. Ceja shot
Linda Leon twice in the chest with a .22-caliber pistol, then dragged her body into a bedroom where he used a pillow to muffle 4
more shots in the head. When Randy Leon returned home, Ceja shot him 4 times.
Robert Smith had been sent
to prison in 1984 for robbery. While serving that sentence, he attacked a corrections officer and stabbed another inmate, adding so much time to his sentence that he wouldn't be eligible for release until he was almost 90. In 1995, he and inmate
Ronald Lunsford killed Michael Wedmore, who was in prison for beating his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter to death because she wet the bed.
Smith and Lunsford admitted to stabbing Wedmore to death with scissors
in his cell. Smith had dismissed his state-appointed attorneys in order to arrange his own
plea agreement with prosecutors, turned down a 50-year sentence for the prison
murder, threatened to kill again unless he was given the death penalty, eschewed all appeals and was granted his wish to die by the Indiana
Supreme Court. Smith had long maintained that he wanted to die because he didn't want to grow old in prison. "I'm ashamed of the way I lived my life, and I pray God will forgive me. I hope the angels are flying close to the ground. I'm sorry I helped make the world the way it is today." Lunsford, a
convicted robber serving a 40-year sentence, pleaded guilty to involuntary
manslaughter and received an additional 40-year sentence. Smith tried to sell rights to witness his execution for $1,000 apiece to
raise money for a hospital fund in the name of the 2-year-old girl killed by
Wedmore. Correction officials refused that request.
||Ricky Lee Sanderson
Ricky Lee Sanderson pleaded guilty to the 1985 abduction and murder of
Sue Ellen "Suzi" Holliman, a 16-year old Lexington girl. A former drug addict and product of an abusive family, Sanderson embraced evangelical Christianity after arriving in Central Prison for two rapes and an attempted murder. He confessed to Holliman's killing, freeing another man from almost certain conviction. Though he had years of appeals available, Sanderson declined to pursue them, saying he did not want to put the Hollimans through the anguish of more court proceedings. He chose the gas chamber over lethal injection because he would suffer more in the eyes of Hugh
Holliman, who watched the execution.
||Karla Faye Tucker
On 6/12/83, Tucker spent most of the day using drugs
& alcohol with her boyfriend, Danny Garrett; her sister, Kari Burrell; Kari's ex-husband, Ronnie Burrell and James
Leibrant. Kari and Ronnie left in the evening. In the early morning hours of
6/ 13, Tucker, Garrett and Leibrant decided to go to Jerry Dean's home and steal his motorcycle. Dean was
an ex-roommate of Tucker's. They entered Dean's apartment using a key that Tucker had
stolen. In the apartment, they found Dean and Deborah Thornton. When Dean begged for his life, Tucker began to "pick" him with an axe. She later told Kari that she received sexual gratification with every swing of the axe. At one point, Leibrant entered the bedroom to find Tucker attempting to pull the axe out of Dean by using her foot on him as leverage. After she pulled the axe from his body, she lifted it above her head, smiled at
Leibrant, and swung it into Dean again. Tucker and Garrett then used the axe on Deborah until, when Deborah begged for the end to her pain, Garrett embedded the axe in her throat. Garrett and Tucker took Dean's truck, wallet, and motorcycle. They stored the stolen property with Garrett's brother, Doug Garrett. Tucker boasted about her actions to Kari and Doug and expressed pleasure while watching a television news report about the killings. Kari and Doug went to the police and reported Tucker's statements. Doug was fitted with a hidden microphone and recorded a ninety-minute discussion with Tucker and Garrett about the murders.
Steven Renfro fatally shot 3 people in a drug-induced rampage. Renfro, 40, voluntarily headed to the death chamber on a conviction less than 10 months old. He asked that no appeals be pursued and his execution be carried out as soon as possible. Rick Berry, a high school classmate and the prosecutor in the case, said the decision not to fight was Renfro's way of trying to get into heaven.
"By voluntarily going ahead and being punished, it's like an
atonement," Berry said before Renfro was put to death. On 8/25/96, after taking what he
said were 70 doses of the tranquilizer Valium, and drinking, Renfro put on camouflage clothing, blackened his face and armed himself with four guns, including a military assault rifle,
& 500 rounds of ammunition. He shot and killed his live-in girlfriend,
Rhena Fultner, 36, then killed an aunt who lived with them, Rose
Rutledge, 63. He went to the nearby trailer of an acquaintance, George
Counts, 40, against whom he had a grudge, and shot him, too, firing more than 150 rounds into the mobile home. When police responded, he opened fire again, wounding a police officer.
Tony Mackall, 33, was executed by injection as members of
Mary Elizabeth Dahn's family watched. ``I know it is a hard thing to grow up without a mother, and I ask you to forgive me,'' Mackall said in a strong voice moments before lethal chemicals flowed into his body. ``I know it is a hard thing to do, but I can only ask.'' The family watched in a room separate from the booth where press and official witnesses sit. Mrs.
Dahn, 31, was the cashier at the Woodbridge gas station in December 1986 when Mackall showed up, demanded money and shot her in the head. Her husband Stephen, the station manager, and their two young daughters, April and Julie, were decorating the station for the holidays. After killing Mrs. Dahn and taking $515, Mackall drove to a nearby
neighborhood and an hour later shot Michael Keating twice in the head after taking his car keys and wallet at gun point. Michael survived and testified against
Mackall, who also apologized to Keating in his final statement. Mackall had been released from prison 2 months earlier and was AWOL from a prison halfway house run by the Washington metropolitan government. After his arrest, Mackall admitted to a fellow inmate that he committed the shootings.
|| A man convicted of killing a flower shop co-worker and her son after she spurned his advances declared
"the times of sadness are over" as he was executed by injection. Michael Long, 35, did not apologize for shooting and stabbing
Sheryl Graber, 24, and her 5-year-old son Andrew at her home on April 7, 1987. "I went there (Graber's Muskogee home) to get it one way or another," Long recently told the Muskogee Phoenix. Long had asked that no additional appeals delay his
execution. Long said he killed the two when Ms. Graber rejected his sexual advances and screamed for help. Graber and her killer worked together at a Muskogee floral shop. After a brief confrontation in her home, Graber was shot in the head and abdomen and stabbed 31 times. Her son also was shot and stabbed because he witnessed his mother's slaying. He had written letters to Ms. Graber's parents in hopes they would forgive him for killing their daughter and grandson. He blamed depression, drug abuse and alcohol for the crime.
"We bear no malice or ill will," said a statement from friends and relatives of the victims.
"We only seek to be able now to go on with our lives and deal with the everyday realities of
||Terry Allen Langford, a North Carolina drifter who wandered into Montana and murdered a ranch couple in the living room for reasons never explained, was executed at the Montana State Prison. Langford
had no final statement. Langford, 31, sat on death row for 9 years after confessing to the abduction and killing of
Ned Blackwell at their ranch house near Ovando in July 1988. He initially asked for the death penalty, and the trial judge obliged him; Langford later changed his mind. Langford arrived in Montana in the summer of 1988, wanting to become a mountain man. He wandered into the Blackwood's home in July of that year. Using a rifle he found in the garage, he got the drop on Ned Blackwell, and then forced Mrs. Blackwell, 48, to tie her husband's hands and marched them into
their living room. He hogtied Mrs. Blackwell on the couch and bound Mr. Blackwell to a rocking chair. Langford fired a .22-caliber bullet into the back of Blackwood's head and a 2nd bullet into Mrs. Blackwood's left ear. She did not die immediately, so he cut her throat. It was more than 3 weeks before Langford was linked to the crime. Indiana officials found a duffel bag full of guns that had been stolen from the Blackwood home. Witnesses
reported seeing Langford carrying the bag while trying to rob a motel in Indiana a few days after the
Blackwoods' bodies were found. Langford, by then home in Raleigh, was arrested and confessed to the murders; he never said why he killed the couple. He was also convicted of killing an inmate during the 1991 riot at Montana State prison that left 5 prisoners dead.|
||Prosecutors said that Reginald Powell and
another man beat and killed Freddie Miller, 39, and his brother, Arthur
Miller, 29, during a drunken brawl in St. Louis in 1986. After the other man stopped, Powell kept going, stomping both men so hard he broke nearly all of their ribs. Then he stabbed the brothers to death and robbed them of $3 and a pack of cigarettes. Arrested the next day after his stepbrother turned him in, Powell said in a taped confession:
"You know, we'll say I had the last - the last laugh."|
||A white man who strangled a black hitchhiker and carved
``KKK'' into her body 20 years ago was executed by lethal injection. John Arnold was convicted of killing
Betty Gardner. Gardner, 33, was picked up by Arnold, his cousin John Plath and a female companion in 1978 as she made her way home. The companion, Cindy Sheets, led police to Gardner's body and testified against the cousins under a grant of immunity. She said Arnold strangled Gardner with a garden hose while Plath stabbed her with a knife and a bottle and stomped on her neck. Gardner was forced to perform oral sex on Plath and Sheets while being beaten with a belt. Plath is expected to be executed in late spring or early
||Jerry Lee Hogue
||In March of 1980 Jerry Lee Hogue was found guilty of the January 13, 1979 murder of
Jayne Lynn Markham committed in the course of committing arson. Jayne was raped then bound to her bed with wire. Hogue then set a fire that killed her. Jerry Lee Hogue, 47 at the time of his execution, had imprisoned three other people, including the victim's 8-year-old son, in their Arlington home but they managed to escape the flames that killed Jayne Markham, 27. Her hands and feet were bound with insulated wire and tied in a crouched position to a bed. According to the evidence, Hogue poured gasoline on the carpets of the Arlington home shared by Markham, Mary Beth Crawford, Steve Renick and Markham's 8-year-old son. He set the home ablaze and then fled the scene. Witnesses said they could hear the woman's screams but were unable to reach her because of the ferocious blaze.
"He was probably the most pronounced antisocial sociopathic personality I've ever seen,'' said Rufus Adcock, the district attorney who prosecuted Hogue, said. Hogue, a former custom water bed builder in Aurora, Colo., who told Texas authorities he was a self-employed auto repossessor, was arrested about 24 hours after the early morning fire. Hogue had an extensive arrest record, including arrests for rape and false imprisonment. He was charged with desertion from the Army in 1972 and
court-martialed. During the punishment phase of that trial, evidence of a 1974 Colorado guilty plea rape conviction was allowed into evidence to show that there was a probability that Mr. Hogue would commit criminal acts of violence constituting a continuing threat to society. The rape conviction was set aside by the Colorado courts in 1994.|
|| Douglas Buchanan, Jr. drove to the home of his father,
Douglas M. Buchanan Sr., with a rifle. The two began arguing over something the older man had said about Buchanan's natural mother, who had died of cancer when he was 10. As Douglas Sr. turned to go inside, Buchanan shot him twice in the head and dragged him inside. Soon after, his stepbrothers
Joel, 13, and Donnie, 10, came home from school. He shot Donnie in the face and shot Joel in the back as he tried to flee. Last to return home, and last to die, was his
stepmother. Buchanan shot her, stabbed her in the chest and slit her throat.|
||Serial Killer: Gerald Stano, 41, has described killing 41 women in Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, though police say the number may be closer to 80. He received the death penalty for killing Cathy Lee Scharf, a 17-year-old hitchhiker from Port Orange whose body was found in an isolated area of Brevard
Co. She was fatally stabbed between December 1973 and January 1974. Stano confessed that he choked the girl repeatedly and dumped her body in a drainage ditch before cleaning up and going roller skating. Most of his victims were prostitutes, runaways and teen-agers. Stano was a Daytona Beach short-order cook in the 1970s when he began to lure women into his car with offers of marijuana or tours of plantation ruins and Seminole War battle grounds. Once, when asked how he could kill so often, he said that "you have to pace yourself." Paul Crow, the Daytona Beach police detective who
first charged Stano with murder, spent years talking to him about his
crimes but remains mystified about the inner workings of a man deemed
unadoptable by a state agency when he was just 13 months old. Crow said that
"Jerry was a bad seed." Stano confessed to murdering Mary Carol Maher. When Stano was asked to describe Mary Carol Maher, he stood up to give her height and weight by gesture and described her as being tall and athletic. Stano's description of the victim was accurate. On further questioning, Stano gave a correct description of the clothes Mary
had been wearing. When Crow said Maher was wearing slacks and a shirt, Stano corrected him and identified her as wearing a white shirt with animal designs and jeans. Stano also described how he murdered Maher, including stabbing her in the chest, thigh and back. His description of the wounds matched the autopsy report except that stab wounds in the back had not been included in the medical report on Ms. Maher. Stano stated that he had stabbed the victim in the chest as hard as he could. The autopsy reflected that her sternum had been broken. Stano
further described the road which he traveled with her body, how he wrapped
her in a foam padding or ticking, and how he left the body in an area near
the airport, placing palm branches over it. Stano also confessed to the murder of Toni Vann Haddocks. Toni Vann Haddocks had been listed as a missing person from Daytona Beach, Florida. Around April 6, 1980, her body had been found in Volusia County in an area where Stano used to live and which was near the residence of Stano's brother. At the scene where the portions of the body had been found, detectives found that there were similarities between the murder of Toni Vann Haddocks and the murder of Mary Carol Maher, particularly the fact that branches of small trees had been used to cover the bodies of both victims. It was determined that a possible weapon. Stano knew details concerning the victim which the police did not know. For instance, when Crow asked Stano if he knew something about the victim which the police would not know, Stano stated that Vann Haddocks had a cast on her arm. When Crow asked Stano if it was a sling cast, Stano stated that it was an arm cast not a sling cast. Other victims were Nancy Heard, whose body was found by the power lines in Tomoka State
Park three miles north of the Holiday Inn boardwalk, Linda Hamilton, who had been reported missing from the boardwalk area and found on the beach in New Smyrna,
Ramona Neal, a girl in a blue and white bikini whose body had been found in Tomoka State Park,
Susan Hamilton who had been found on the beach at New Smyrna Beach;
Jane Doe, a girl whose body Stano said he had left on an Interstate highway;
Susan Bacile, Mary Kathleen Muldoon, Sandra Dubose,
Barbara Bauer and Susan Bickrest.|
||Leo Jones killed Officer Thomas
Szafranski, a Jacksonville police officer in 1981. The officer was struck in the head by a sniper's bullet while sitting in his patrol car in downtown Jacksonville in May 1981. Jacksonville police arrested Jones in a nearby apartment, where
two Winchester rifles were under a bed. One of the rifles contained Jones' fingerprints. Jones confessed to the murder, saying he killed the officer because of police beatings, but later recanted, saying police forced the confession out of him. Jones contends another man, Glenn Schofield, killed Szafranski. Jones' lawyers tried unsuccessfully in a evidentiary hearing to get Jones a new trial.|
||Milton Griffin El
||Milton Griffin-El, 37, of St. Louis,
was sentenced to die for the murder of Jerome Redden on Aug. 15, 1986. Redden, 22, and his girlfriend,
Loretta Trotter, 19, were beaten, bound and stabbed in their apartment, above his family's business, the Redden Cleaning and Laundry Service. The couple's 4-month-old son,
Germaine, was crying in his bed when a Redden family member discovered the bodies later that day. The relative entered the apartment because police had found the Redden Laundry van on fire just south of downtown. Antoine
Owens was convicted of Trotter's murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Griffin-El and Owens, who had dated one of Trotter's sisters, had gone to the couple's apartment to steal stereo equipment. They knocked on the door on the pretense of needing to use the bathroom. Griffin-El admitted stabbing Redden
four times and hitting him in the head with a wrench. He was found guilty of 1st-degree murder in July 1987. After the jury deadlocked 10-2 in favor of the death penalty, Circuit Judge James J. Gallagher exercised his discretion to impose the sentence. Prior to the jury deadlock, Griffin-El told the court he was sorry, adding: "If there was some kind of way I could bring these 2 people back, even with execution of my life, I would do it." Rosie Redden, Redden's mother, said it is time for the execution. Rosie Redden, 67, still operates the laundry at the same location but said she never again entered or rented out the apartment upstairs. "When I come to work, I can't even look over at that door," she said. As for Griffin-El, she said, "He took 2 lives for a robbery. He deserves to die." Redden said Germaine was placed for adoption. She said she no longer has contact with Trotter's family, who could not be reached.|
|| Ronald Watkins, 35, was
executed at the Greensville Correctional Center for the 1988 robbery and murder of
William McCauley. McCauley, 29, was slashed in the throat three times and stabbed seven times in the upper back inside his store. At the time of the killing, Watkins was on parole for abducting an elderly woman at gunpoint. Investigators said Watkins had once worked for McCauley and knew where he kept the money in his store. McCauley's business had been robbed and his body was discovered in a pool of blood by his father. McCauley discovered his only son's body in a pool of blood at his business the night of the slaying. His son was late coming home so McCauley drove to his business to find him. "I thought maybe that he had just gotten busy or something right at closing time....I got in the car and I looked for him on the way over to his place of business and didn't see him coming in the opposite direction," he said. His son had "never been in any trouble whatsoever -- a happy, hard-working boy. It was a brutal, premeditated murder. This fellow knew that he kept a fair amount of cash in the business. He'd worked for him, his sister worked for him, they knew that there was cash there. "He got $1,600 in cash, you know, and this fellow Watkins had been in and out of trouble all of his life." In the years since the death, McCauley said, "It never gets any easier. For instance, in the last 3 or 4 months my wife and I have had letters" from defense lawyers wanting to meet with them on Watkins' case.|
||Judy Buenoano was convicted for murdering her husband, drowning her disabled son and blowing up her
fiance. Buenoano's husband of nine years, Air Force Sgt. James
Goodyear, was 37 when he died of arsenic poisoning in 1971. That was just three months after he returned from a year's tour in Vietnam. Buenoano received $28,000 in life insurance and $64,000 in veterans' benefits after his death. Her partially paralyzed son,
Michael Goodyear, 19, was wearing leg and arm braces when his mother pushed him out of a canoe in the East River near Pensacola in 1980. She gave four different versions of how Michael died: a snake fell into their canoe and it overturned; the canoe hit a log; he was decapitated by a boat propeller; he died as a result of Army chemical warfare.
"It wasn't an accident. The guy was paralyzed," prosecutor Russell Edgar said.
"He had 15 pounds of braces on his legs without a life jacket. He was taken up the river in a canoe and basically pitched
out." Authorities also believe she was responsible for more than Michael's drowning. His crippling illness had developed after he returned home from the Army, and an autopsy eventually found traces of arsenic.
"She put that boy through a lot before she killed him," said Pensacola detective Ted Chamberlain.
"She poisoned him to make him paraplegic. And then the guy ain't home from the hospital for 24 hours before she drowns
him." But suspicions weren't aroused until after a 1983 car bombing in downtown Pensacola, in an attempt to collect $500,000 in insurance money. Her
fiance, John Gentry, survived the bombing and told detectives she had given him
"vitamins'' that made him sick which proved to be a poison called
paraformaldehyde. She was sentenced to 12 years for the bombing, and Gentry's tale started investigators on the path that led to discovery of her other crimes. In 1984, Ms. Buenoano was convicted of killing her son and sentenced to life. And the next year, she was convicted of killing her husband and condemned to death. On top of those convictions, she was suspected but never charged in the 1978 arsenic death of
Bobby Joe Morris, a boyfriend in Trinidad, Colo. All together, she collected about $240,000 in insurance money.|
||Daniel Remeta led James Hunter and Lisa Dunn on a crime spree in 1985 in Kansas, Arkansas and Florida that left five people dead.
Three more were wounded. Remeta was executed for killing Mehrle
"Chet" Reeder, a convenience store clerk in Ocala who was shot four times during a 1985 robbery that netted $50. Two days after killing Reeder, Remeta and an accomplice entered a convenience store in Wascom, Texas, bent on
robbery. A clerk was shot five times but lived and later testified at Remetas trial in the Florida killing. Remeta, a native of Traverse City, Mich., was also convicted of 3 murders in Kansas, where he faced 5 life sentences. In Kansas,
Larry McFarland, a restaurant operator in Grainfield -- was killed before Remeta and his accomplices moved on to Levant. Remeta was convicted in that case.
Glenn Moore, 55, and John "Rick" Schroeder, 28, were kidnapped from a grain elevator in Levant and shot to death execution-style on a dirt road northwest of Colby. Kansas did not have the death penalty at the time of Remeta's convictions. He received two life sentences in this state. In Arkansas, Remeta was under a death sentence for the murder of
Linda Marvin, who worked at a convenience store in Mulberry in 1985. The violence ended in a gun battle with police in an unoccupied farmhouse in Atwood, Kan. Remeta once said he wanted to be extradited to Florida because it imposes capital punishment. "I want them to pull the switch," he said. "I'm not afraid. Death is only as ugly as you make it." Hunter was convicted but later acquitted after claiming he was forced to participate in the crimes. He died of a heart attack four days after his acquittal. Dunn, too, was acquitted in a retrial. She successfully used the "battered-woman syndrome" defense, saying that because she was abused by Remeta she was not responsible for her actions. She now lives in Michigan.|
||Angel Breard, a citizen of Paraguay and Argentina, was convicted of raping and stabbing to death
Ruth Dickie, a neighbor in Arlington County on Feb. 17, 1992. He was offered a plea agreement that would have spared his life but turned it down against the advice of his lawyer. Instead, Breard took the stand, admitted the crime but said he was acting under a satanic curse placed on him by his ex-wife's father. He told the jury that the curse was lifted when he found Jesus Christ.|
||Glennon Paul Sweet was given the death penalty for the February 1987 killing of Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper
Russell Harper of Springfield. Sweet shot Harper, 45, with an assault rifle after the trooper stopped Sweet for speeding along U.S. 60, just east of Springfield in southwest Missouri. "Harper was a hard working, good family man," said Lt. Tom Martin, a 33-year veteran of the highway patrol who had worked with Harper. "He was just out there that Sunday doing what he gets paid to do. He had no idea what was out there." Sweet was arrested two days later as he hid in the attic of a friend's house. At the time of his arrest, he was wanted on felony weapons charges in Kansas City and for jumping bail on a drug charge out of Texas. Sweet was convicted of murdering Harper after a 5-day jury trial. Clay County Circuit Judge Glennon McFarland, nicknamed the "hanging judge" because of his reputation for doling out the death penalty, followed the jury's recommendation in January 1988 and ordered Sweet to be
executed. Sweet said he went to a friends house but nobody was home about an hour before Harper was shot. "We have no remorse for him," highway patrol Capt. Jim Watson said. Some members of the patrol will attend Sweet's execution, Watson said.|
|| Jose Roberto Villafuerte, 45,
was sentenced to die by lethal injection for the 1983 slaying of Amelia
Schoville, a 47-year-old woman whom Villafuerte called his girlfriend. She was found bound and beaten in his Phoenix trailer, dead from asphyxiation after gagging on a bed sheet stuffed down her throat. Her hands were tied behind her back, her thumbs were tied together with shoe laces and her head was wrapped in long underwear and bloody bedding, prosecutors said. Villafuerte was found sleeping in a dry river bed near Schoville's car a day after he said they fought in the trailer. One of Schoville's sons, however, said Villafuerte should have been put to death years ago. Rick
Schoville, of Phoenix, said the latest legal attempts are a joke: "I feel that he has tried to make a mockery of the system this whole time."
||Joseph Cannon was sentenced to be executed in Texas
for the murder of Anne Walsh in 1977. A frequent juvenile violator and runaway from Houston, Cannon was facing jail time for a burglary unless he could find a stable living environment. Anne Walsh, an attorney whose brother had represented Cannon, was convinced by her brother to take the boy in. According to his confession, Cannon had been drinking and taking drugs on Sept. 30, 1977, when Mrs. Walsh came home for lunch. He shot her at least 6 times as she begged for her life, tried to rape her, then stole her daughter's car.|
||Prosecutors said Leslie Gosch was the mastermind of the Sept. 15, 1985 extortion scheme that resulted in
Rebecca Jo Patton, 42, being shot 6 times in the head with a .22-caliber pistol. Testimony at Gosch's trial showed he planned to abduct the mother of
two for ransom so he could get money to pay for a flight to Belize to avoid a prison sentence for a federal firearms conviction. Gosch had pleaded guilty a month earlier to charges of manufacturing and selling gun silencers. He had been scheduled for sentencing earlier in September 1985 but failed to appear. He also had previous convictions in 1972 for a pair of pharmacy robberies in San Antonio. Mrs. Patton invited Gosch into her home after he showed up impersonating a flower delivery man. He ordered the woman to call her husband, Frank, president of the Castle Hills National Bank, and demanded the banker fill a briefcase with $50 and $100 bills. Frank Patton called police. The extortionist had instructed Patton to take the cash to a San Antonio shopping mall and await instructions, but a promised telephone call there never came. Instead, Mrs. Patton was found dead at her home. Gosch and another man, John Rogers, were arrested a week later for the slaying after an informant turned over to police the murder weapon and other items. Rogers testified against Gosch and received a 45-year prison term while Gosch received the death penalty.|
||A man convicted of killing a real estate agent after luring him to a vacant office to rob him was executed by injection. Arthur Ross, 43, had legal options available but didn't use them, saying he was tired of living on death row and would rather die. He had no final words. Ross arrived in Tucson in April 1990 and began plotting his crime immediately, prosecutors say. He posed as a businessman interested in renting office space to persuade
James Ruble, a 26-year-old real estate agent 4 years out of the University of Arizona, to take him to the empty office on April 10. Once inside the building, Ross shot Ruble in the head with a handgun, dragged him behind a counter and shot him again. He fled with Ruble's wallet containing a credit card, a bank card and identification. Ross withdrew $800 from Ruble's accounts, and used his victim's ID card to get a driver's license. Ross was arrested in Casa Grande 4 days later. Prosecutors called him a career criminal with convictions in Kansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky and California. At the time of the slaying, Ross was on parole for a 1989 2nd-degree burglary conviction in Georgia. He was released from prison there after serving 8 months of a 20-year sentence.|
||The Euless man convicted in the gruesome 1988 rape and stabbing death of a 26-year-old Arlington woman
was executed April 29. Frank Basil McFarland, who has steadfastly denied any involvement in the attack that left
Terry Lynn Hokanson dying in a church parking lot with 79 knife wounds,
was the 1st Texan in modern history to be executed for a murder committed in Northeast Tarrant County. Evidence at trial indicated that
McFarland met Hokanson at the now-defunct Centerfold Club in Arlington, where she worked as a shoeshine valet, on Feb. 1, 1988. The pair went out dancing that evening. Later, Hokanson was found severely wounded but alive at a Hurst parking lot and told police that 2 men had attacked her. The 26-year-old woman was still alive after the attack and was found by teen-agers as she staggered from behind a church in Hurst, a suburb northeast of Fort Worth.|
||A man who raped and killed a friend's
fiancée in 1984 and then took her engagement ring was executed in Alabama's electric chair. Steven Allen Thompson, 34, waived any last-minute appeal, saying he wanted to spare further pain to his family and his victim's family. Thompson was convicted of killing
Robin Balarzs, 25, in Huntsville on May 12, 1984. She was bound, gagged, beaten, raped, stabbed and then dragged 3,000 feet behind a car by Thompson, who was absent without leave from the Navy at the time. She was robbed of $1 and her engagement ring. Prosecutors described the killing as extraordinarily chilling in its savagery and prolonged infliction of agony. When she was slain, Balarzs had a 3-year-old son and was engaged to marry a longtime friend of Thompson's. Her parents and son were out of town when Thompson went into the home. Defense attorneys argued that Thompson was mentally disturbed. Thompson blamed his acts on a drug problem that began in his youth. The victim's mother, Ruby
Balarzs, who is taking care of her grandson, said before the execution at Holman Prison that she would witness it not for vengeance but to show that someone cared about her daughter. "It's something you live with. It's there all the time," she said. "At least now, it will be over."|
||A high school dropout who killed a cashier during a robbery spree when he was 17 was executed by injection. Robert Anthony Carter, 34, spent nearly 1/2 of his life on death row for the June 24, 1981, shooting death of 18-year-old
Sylvia Reyes. He also confessed to fatally shooting a man during a robbery 5 days earlier. In a brief final statement, Carter expressed love and thanks to the 5 people he selected to watch him die. "I'm going to a better place," he said. "I hope the victim's family will forgive me, because I didn't mean to hurt or kill no one." When Carter arrived on death row in 1981 at age 18, he was the youngest person there, earning the nickname "Youngblood" from his fellow convicts. Carter told police he used a borrowed .38-caliber pistol to shoot Miss Reyes. He got about $150 and wound up with $37 after splitting the loot with some friends. Carter was sentenced to die for the June 24, 1981, shooting death of 18-year-old Sylvia Reyes, a manager of a Houston Conoco service station. According to the evidence, Reyes was shot once in the chest with a .38 caliber pistol as she tried to stop Carter from taking $150 from the cash register. Reyes died about an hour after the shooting. During his capital murder trial, Carter was also implicated in the June 18, 1981, slaying of 63-year-old
R.B. Scott during the robbery of a beauty supply store in Houston. Carter confessed to killing Scott.
||Pedro Cruz Muniz was 20 when convicted of the 1976 rape and beating death of a student at Southwestern University in Georgetown. Muniz was condemned for the rape and beating death of
Janis Carol Bickham, a 19-year-old fine arts student. Ms. Bickham, who was from Matagorda County, was abducted a few days before Christmas in 1976 while walking across a bridge over the San Gabriel River about a mile from the campus. Muniz followed her down a city street and over a bridge. When she reached the end of the bridge, Muniz grabbed her, dragged her down a ravine, over a stream, and through a fence. He then took her to an abandoned cabana, where he raped her and beat in her head with a log. When he was finished, he buried her body in a pile of wood and fled. Two days later, police arrested Muniz, already free on bail on a rape charge, and charged him with murder. He was taken before a magistrate, then placed in a local jail. The next day, police questioned Muniz; this interview ultimately led to Muniz's confession. In his written statement, Muniz admitted to having the aggravated and nonconsensual sexual relations with Bickham that preceded her death. "It was something that would happen in the big city, and it hit home," said Ed Walsh, the former Williamson County district attorney who prosecuted the case. "It's still very vivid in my mind. I can still see that girl and the way she was beaten and left. I remember him as being, in my view, very arrogant, very cold. I never saw him exhibiting any kind of remorse." Muniz's conviction was overturned in 1985 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled defendants must be warned that a psychiatric examination could be used against them in court. Such warnings were not required at the time of Muniz's arrest. "The judge and district attorney at the time made all the right choices, except they didn't anticipate a psychiatrist would be required to give Miranda warnings," Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson said. "Obviously no one did. We had no choice but to retry him." A jury took about an hour to convict Muniz at the 2nd trial. The Supreme Court refused a formal appeal and a request from his attorneys that the execution be postponed.
||In Florence, a man who admitted killing 17 people in California and Arizona in 1973 apologized to the families of his victims moments before he was executed by lethal injection at a Florence, Ariz., prison. Just before his execution, 47-year-old Douglas Gretzler said, "From the bottom of my soul, I am so deeply sorry and have been for years for murdering
Michael Sandberg. Though I am being executed for that crime, I apologize to all 17 victims and their families." Gretzler's sister and 4 members of the victims' families were among about 3-dozen witnesses to the execution. In a statement, the family of Lodi, Calif., murder victim
Walter Parkin said, "Hopefully this will bring some closure to a very sad chapter in our lives." Gretzler's victims were shot to death, with most bound and gagged before they were killed. Gretzler received a life prison sentence for the killings in California because California didn't have the death penalty at the time, and was extradited then to Arizona where he was sentenced to death. His co-defendant, Willie Steelman, died while on death row.
|| David Cargill was convicted of robbing and killing a Columbus couple in January 1985. Cargill and his brother, Thomas, both of Phenix City, Ala., were convicted of the execution-style shooting deaths of
Danny Williams during a robbery at the service station where Mrs. Williams worked. The Williams' were killed Jan. 22, 1985, during a robbery of the Premium Oil Co. service station. Each was shot twice in the back of the head. The brothers were accused of stealing $482.79 from the store's coffers and a $30 knife from Danny Williams, 41. Mrs. Williams was 29 years old when she was killed. The couple had 4 children, boys ages 2-10.
Cargill was sentenced to death in July 1985. His brother was given a life sentence for the crime.|
|| Clifford Boggess was delighted to be facing the executioner's needle. "Everyone looks at me like I'm crazy," said
Boggess, condemned for fatally stabbing and beating the 86-year-old owner of a grocery store in Montague County during a robbery. "But my relationship with God has become more real." It's 1 of 2 murder convictions against the former carpenter's helper who asked that no additional appeals be filed to stop
the lethal injection. "A certain part of me now thinks its better that I die," he said. "Not that I think the death penalty is good. But if I can die for earthly sins, maybe it's better for eternal judgment."
Boggess, who turned 33 on the day of his execution and recently became a Roman Catholic,
asked that his execution date be set on his birthday. The court in Montague County agreed. "I like the idea of leaving this world on the day I came in," he said. "There's a nice symmetry to that. It's also the date of my birth into a new life in heaven." Boggess was sentenced to death for the July 23, 1986 murder of
Moses Frank Collier, 86, who owned Collier Grocery and Produce Store in Saint Jo, about 50 miles east of Wichita Falls. A month after the Collier killing, he used a shotgun to kill another man,
Ray Hazelwood of Whitesboro. He received a life prison term after pleading guilty to that slaying. Boggess said he went hog wild after completing high school and lasted a year in the Army before he was booted out. He turned to drugs and alcohol and crowds "that gave me easy access to them" and by age 21 had become self-described blackout alcoholic, working odd jobs long enough to earn money to get high. "I made a conscious decision to cease to care," he said. "I was fully conscious of the killings. I'm not going to use drugs or alcohol as an excuse. I was not out of my mind. I knew what I was doing." He got about $700 in the Collier slaying. Boggess said his religious beliefs and an acknowledgment that he would get no relief in the courts convinced him to go ahead with the execution. "I know how the courts work, I know how the system works," he said. "It would be foolish to kid myself and hang on to false hope right up to the last moment when I could be using this valuable time to better prepare myself to leave this earth and meet my God. And that's what
I've been doing. Essentially, I went out and committed these horrible crimes in a country that has a death penalty, in a state that zealously pursues the death penalty, and I am now receiving the legal consequences of my own actions. Nobody made me do it. I voluntarily did the things I did. So no one is responsible but me. No one twisted my arm. No one held a gun to my head."|
||While on routine patrol at 12:50 a.m. on June 20, 1982, Officer Charles Mitchell, a deputy sheriff with the Dallas
Co. Sheriff's Dept, noticed a beige Jeep in the parking lot of a small convenience store in the city of Sunnyvale. The store was closed. Mitchell used his patrol car's spotlight to examine the vehicle and the store as he slowly drove past. Mitchell did not see anyone, but a couple in an automobile flashed their high beams as he drove away, and Mitchell stopped. After a conversation with the couple, Mitchell called for backup and indicated that a white male suspected of criminal activity was in the area of the convenience store. Mitchell then parked behind the Jeep with his high beams and spotlight on the vehicle. Mitchell exited his patrol car and, using a flashlight, inspected all four sides of the convenience store building in search of the suspect. Mitchell did not see anyone and concluded that the store was secure. Officers
Ray Edward Kovar and Dwaine Crain, responding to Mitchell's request for backup, approached the scene with their emergency lights and siren on, but turned them off when they got
close to the store. Mitchell heard the backup unit's siren before the officers turned them off. Kovar and Crain arrived at the scene at approximately 1:00 a.m. After the three officers again secured the building, they began a search of the area. Mitchell saw Kovar walk around the east side of the building, with a flashlight in his left hand and his pistol in his right hand. Crain took a shotgun and went to the west side of the building to search there. Mitchell and Crain both heard Kovar tell someone, "Halt, get up." Then a series of gunshots were fired. Mitchell ran to help Kovar and found him lying face down. Kovar had suffered a bullet wound to the chest from which he later died. Crain heard Mitchell shout that Kovar was down and called in a report to that effect on his radio to his dispatcher before joining Mitchell. Crain noticed that Kovar's flashlight was turned on. Two police officers unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate Kovar, and several others searched the scene of the shooting but were unable to locate a suspect. Richard Hart, a reserve deputy sheriff who was called out to assist in the search for the person who killed Officer Kovar, set up surveillance in an unmarked car almost two miles from the scene of the shooting. Around 4:00 a.m., Hart saw a white male, later identified as Johnny Dean Pyles, walking toward him on Collins Road. He immediately radioed a description of Pyles to the dispatcher and then left the car, pointing his flashlight and pistol at Pyles and ordering him to halt. At first, Pyles turned around and took several steps back the way he came. Hart again ordered Pyles to stop, saying, "One more step and that's it." Pyles turned around and raised his hands. He told Hart that he was not armed. Hart ordered Pyles to lie face down on the road. He noticed that Pyles's right hand was swollen, and that he was bloody and covered with mud. Hart handcuffed Pyles and placed him in the back seat of the car lying face down. Hart recited Pyles's Miranda warnings on the way to the Sunnyvale Substation, and Pyles indicated that he understood his rights. The magistrate again read Pyles his rights and advised him that he was being charged with capital murder, a crime punishable by life imprisonment or death. The magistrate asked Pyles if he was in pain and if he wanted to go to the hospital. Pyles did not ask for medical attention and did not complain of being in pain. After a paramedic bandaged and elevated Pyles's arm, the magistrate asked Pyles if he was up to talking to the police.1 Pyles responded affirmatively and the magistrate left for a brief period. The magistrate returned as Pyles was preparing to sign a statement admitting that he had shot Officer Kovar. The magistrate informed Pyles that he did not have to sign the statement, and, according to the magistrate, Pyles replied, "I might as well, Judge. I did it." Pyles then signed the statement with his left hand. Afterward, Sergeant Larry Williams of the Dallas County Sheriff's Office interrogated Pyles. A second statement was prepared based on the conversation between Pyles and Williams, and Pyles signed that statement. At Pyles's capital murder trial, the medical examiner testified that the cause of Officer Kovar's death was a gunshot wound to his chest. A .38 caliber bullet was removed from Kovar's body. An officer explained that a .357 magnum pistol was found where Officer Kovar fell. The weapon contained six spent casings. A .38 caliber pistol, found twenty-seven feet from Kovar, contained four spent casings and one empty chamber. Both weapons had been completely emptied by firing. Pyles testified on his own behalf, explaining that he was not aware at the time of the shooting that Kovar was a police officer. Pyles claimed that he acted in self-defense, firing because he saw a flashlight and a gun pointed at him and heard a voice telling him to halt. On October 14, 1982, Pyles was convicted of capital murder after a seven- week jury trial. "It's probably the biggest mistake I ever made," Pyles said in a death row interview. "I did more than just hurt myself but a lot of other people in the process, my family and his family." Kovar, an Ennis native and an Air Force veteran, had been on the force for 8 years.|
||Dennis Eaton was out on bond on a burglary charge and was living with
Walter Custer, Jr. and Judy Ann McDonald, who had a 3 year old child together. Knowing that Walter could testify against him in the burglary charge, Eaton shot him twice in the face and once in the back before going to the next door to
Ripley Marston's house, shooting him twice in the back of his head and stealing his wallet and his keys. He stole Ripley's car and took the willing Ann McDonald with him to flee to Texas. They were routinely stopped by
Jerry Hines who was a Virginia State Trooper, who suspected the
driver was drunk, and they left him dead on the side of the road. The
car was noticed in a fast food restaurant's drive thru and as police
officers surrounded the car, Eaton shot and killed Ann, who was driving,
before making an attempt to kill himself.|
|| On 4/15/88, when Leopoldo Narvaiz was 20 years old, he murdered his ex-girlfriend and her 3
siblings, Shannon Mann, 17; her sisters, Jennifer Mann, 19, and
Martha Mann, 15; and her 11-year-old brother Ernest Mann Jr. when he stabbed them more than 100 times collectively.
Narvaiz had dated Shannon Mann for several years until
she broke off the relationship in February 1988. The next month, Narvaiz
approached Shannon Mann and her boyfriend, Ricky Moore, with a knife and
a pipe, smashed the windows of Moore's truck, and stated to Shannon's
mother that "if he wasn't going to be able to have [Shannon],
nobody else was going to". In the early morning hours of April 15,
1988, the police received and recorded a "911" telephone call
in which the caller, later identified as Shannon Mann, stated: "My
boyfriend just beat us up. He's killed my little sister". When the
police arrived at the Mann residence, they found all four of the Mann
siblings stabbed to death. A knife containing Narvaiz's thumbprint was
found in the yard of the residence and the police soon arrested Narvaiz
at a friend's house. Two days after the arrest, Narvaiz signed a written
confession in which he admitted the killings, but asserted that he was
under the control of cocaine at the time and that Jennifer Mann first
stabbed him in the leg, after which he "just went crazy". Shannon's body was found nude and she had been stabbed 5 times and both of her arms were broken.
Jennifer was found partially nude and had been stabbed 23 times. Martha also was partially nude and received 9 stab wounds. Shannon's poor little brother, trying to be a man and save his sisters, received between 63 and 67 stab wounds!!! Narvaiz used a total of five knives to complete his horrors. The father of the victims stole garden hoses and lawn chairs in order to be arrested, hoping that he would be able to kill Narvaiz in jail. This QUADRUPLE MURDERER was returning from a San Antonio court where his death date was set on May 6, 1997 along with three other death row inmates, and overpowered a guard when the prison van had stopped at a Houston area gas station to let the prisoners use the restroom. They were all subdued and returned to prison.|
||Wilburn A. Henderson, 55, has gone to trial 3 times for the November 1980 murder of
Willa Dean O'Neal, a Fort Smith furniture store owner. His 1st
trial ended in a mistrial, and he was convicted 2 times since.|
||John Plath and his cousin John Arnold, who
was executed earlier in 1998, were convicted of killing, torturing and raping
Betty Gardner of St. Helena Island. Gardner, of Frogmore, was hitchhiking to visit her father on April 12, 1978, when she was picked up by Plath, his cousin, an adult woman and a 12-year-old girl. They later sexually assaulted, stabbed and strangled Gardner. Arnold then carved "KKK" into her body. Plath would be the 3rd killer of a black person to be executed in South Carolina since the death penalty was reinstated. The 1st was Donald "Pee Wee" Gaskins, who died in 1991 for killing a black man while in prison. Plath, who is from York, Penn., has maintained he was not present when Gardner died, but was merely an accessory to the murder. Arnold also claimed up until his death that he was not present when Gardner was killed. Plath's and Arnold's convictions were overturned in 1981 because of errors made by the prosecution. They were again sentenced to die in the 2nd trial.
||On 9/11/81, Ginger Fleischli
went out for dinner, dancing and bar-hopping with David and Tracy Leitch, friends she had known for years, and Thomas Thompson, a newcomer to the group. The crime took place in the Laguna Beach apartment Thompson shared with Leitch, who was Fleischli's former boyfriend. Three days later, her body was found dumped in a grove of trees in Irvine. She had been stabbed five times in the head, which was wrapped in duct tape, towels, a sheet and her jacket. Leitch's shoe print was found near Fleischli's body and he was convicted of second-degree murder. A jury found that Thompson raped Fleischli and then killed her to keep her quiet. Jail inmates testified Thompson said he feared she would jeopardize a peculiar scheme he had dreamed up to smuggle refugees out of Southeast Asia for gold. He admitted having consensual sex with Fleischli but said he then passed out. Thompson claims he is innocent and his lawyers say that Leitch, the victim's ex-boyfriend, is a likelier suspect. At Leitch's trial, Prosecutor Michael Jacobs told jurors that Leitch was also in the apartment and had the only motive for murder - anger that she had scuttled his chances of reconciling with his ex-wife.|
||Danny Lee King was sentenced to be executed for beating, stomping, choking and stabbing
Carolyn Rogers to death. Rogers, an agent for MKB Realtors, was lured into a robbery at a vacant Roanoke County home after King and his wife posed as potential home buyers. Becky Smith says that on Oct. 11, 1990 she & King were riding in a stolen van through an upscale Roanoke
Co. neighborhood. King had been paroled from prison just 10 days earlier. Smith helped pick out a house. Using the number on a "For Sale" sign in front of the house, she called Rogers at home and arranged a showing. As they toured the house with Rogers, King attacked her, beating and stabbing her to death. Smith later pawned a wedding ring that was stripped from Rogers' finger and forged some checks pilfered from her purse. Smith testified at King's trial that he stripped her naked, tied her up when he left the van and forced her to use a yellow plastic bucket as a toilet. Smith said King choked her, comparing the color her face turned to that of Rogers, and ran the murder weapon's blade up and down her body, telling her that she would be next. Police arrested the couple in the van as it was parked at an interstate rest stop in Ohio. Smith was by no means an innocent bystander to Rogers' murder. After finding her fingerprints in Rogers' car and on her checks, police charged Smith with murder. But a jury in Roanoke County Circuit Court chose not to find Smith directly responsible for the murder, convicting her of being an accessory after the fact for forging the checks and pawning Rogers' ring. She was sentenced to 5 years in prison and was paroled in October 1992. King was tried by a jury in Chesterfield
Co., where the case was moved because of extensive publicity. He was convicted and sentenced to death in June 1991. Bruises on Rogers' head matched the pattern on King's boot sole, an expert witness testified. Commonwealth's Attorney Skip Burkart argued that was proof that King stomped the woman in the head so viciously that blood vessels in her eyes burst. The victims husband, Chet Rogers was seething with anger as he sat on the witness stand, just 10 feet from Danny King, in a Chesterfield County courtroom in the summer of 1991. "That's a bunch of crap," he said, glaring at the defendant, when asked about King's testimony that it was a drug deal that led to his wife's death. After the jury returned a death sentence, Rogers said he was gratified. The 7 years that have since passed have eased Rogers' anger. He has moved away from Roanoke, remarried and found some closure. "I'm not sitting here in glee that he's going to be put to death," Rogers said. "Is it going to make me feel better? Not really." Rogers said he has no intention of asking to witness King's execution, and he remains ambivalent about the death penalty in general. "I just don't know that his being put to death is going to do anything for me or for anyone else," he said. Of Smith, Rogers thinks that "she got off pretty lightly" for her involvement in the crime.|
||Stephen Edward Wood was
given a death sentence for the prison murder of a convicted pedophile.
Zane Hill had a long
history of terrorizing his wife and children with guns before New Year's Day,
1990 when he
threatened to kill his wife and shot his 29-year-old son, Randy Hill, twice in the
back. The shooting occurred when Hill came to his wife's house in violation of a
restraining order and his son held a gun on him while calling police. Hill
claimed self defense, but the jury rejected the plea and deliberated about 30
minutes before convicting him. Evidence showed Hill had consumed beer and pain
killers earlier and hit his wife in the head with a gun when she tried to help
||Billy Dix was a 33-year-old convenience store clerk who was killed during a robbery in South Boston Virginia on February 7, 1993. Chandler had previous convictions for robbery and assault.
||Genaro Camacho Jr.
||Reputed marijuana smuggler Genaro Ruiz Camacho was executed Wednesday for the slaying of a Dallas-area man who unwittingly stumbled into a kidnap plot that also left a woman and her 3 -year-old son fatally shot. The three murders in 1988 were among at least five slayings authorities linked to Camacho, described as a mid-level drug dealer who brought marijuana into Texas from Mexico and who used murder to keep people in line. Jurors at his sentencing were told of at least two other slayings, including a 23-year-old Dallas topless dancer,
Pamela Miller, whose dismembered body was fed through a tree shredder after a botched drug deal.
She was beaten to death and had her head run over twice by a car before
being dismembered. "He was such a vicious murderer he scared off his own people," Sue Korioth, an assistant district attorney in Dallas, said. "I think he enjoyed killing these people." Camacho was condemned for the May 20, 1988, shooting of
David Wilburn, 25, who walked into the home of a neighbor, Sam Wright. What he didn't know was Camacho and two other men, with a fourth man standing guard outside, had burst into the Pleasant Grove home minutes earlier to collect a heroin debt. Wilburn was ordered to the floor and shot immediately in the back of the head. As Wright fled, a woman in the house,
Evellyn Banks, 31, and her 3 -year-old son, Andre Banks, were abducted by Camacho's group and shot three days later, buried in a shallow grave in Johnston County, Okla., and covered with kitty litter. One of Camacho's companions told how his boss ordered the baby shot repeatedly because the child continued to make noises after the initial shot. The two bodies were found about three months later. Camacho by then had fled to Mexico. He was arrested more than a year later as he tried to cross back into Texas. Camacho was sentenced in federal court to life for the kidnapping of Banks and her son. Two of his companions also are serving prison terms while the fourth was ruled incompetent to stand trial and was sent to a federal prison psychiatric center. In an interview a week
before he was executed, Camacho contended his arrest was the result of a payoff between U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration operatives and Mexican police, that he had no role in any murders and was not
a drug kingpin with a lucrative smuggling business, as described by authorities. "If I was, I would have hired the best attorneys around and I guarantee you I wouldn't be in here," he said from a cage in the death row visiting area. But he said he was resigned to dying. "I'm ready for it, we've made all the preparations. I can't do much about it," he said. "It's a new beginning."|
||Johnile DuBois, 31, was
executed for killing a mentally handicapped convenience store clerk in
1991. Eleven members of the victim’s family witnessed the execution.
“We promised our mom,” said Gloria Carr, a sister of victim
Philip C. Council. “She never got over it, and we promised her
that if she didn’t make it that we would go for her. That was one of
the last things she said.” Her mother, Elizabeth Council, died in
1996. Outside the prison, four death penalty protesters lighted candles
as the execution hour approached. DuBois and three teen-age accomplices
robbed the In-A-Hurry store in Portsmouth on Nov. 20, 1991. DuBois was
the only robber who was armed. Council, 39, suffered from mental
handicaps because of a car accident. When he did not open the cash
register quickly enough, the unarmed robbers jumped the counter and beat
him. DuBois then shot Council in the chest. The robbers made off with
$400. DuBois, who was 25 at the time, was the father of nine
illegitimate children whom he did not support and earned $2,500 a month
selling drugs, according to court records. He had been convicted of
larceny, assault, firearm possession and probation violations prior to
||Delbert Teague and his cohort, Robin Partine, robbed Donna Irwin and her date, Tommie
Cox, late at night at a scenic area overlooking Lake Worth in Tarrant County. After Teague bound Cox with a rope and left him lying face down on the ground, Teague and Partine kidnapped Irwin and left the scene in a truck driven by Teague. As they left the area, they passed three young men in a four-wheel drive vehicle going the other way in the direction where Cox had been left. Teague turned the truck around and began to follow the four-wheel drive vehicle. Cox had managed to set himself free, and he approached the four-wheel drive vehicle on foot as it drove toward him. When the four-wheel drive vehicle stopped, Cox told its occupants about what had happened and asked for help. Teague suddenly appeared on foot, shot each occupant in the four-wheel drive vehicle at least once in the head, and took their wallets. Cox escaped uninjured. One of the occupants of the four-wheel drive vehicle,
Kevin Allen, 21, died from his injuries and another suffered permanent brain damage. The other occupant, James Bell, recovered from his wounds and testified at Teague's trial. After the shootings, Teague and Partine left the scene in their truck with Irwin. Later that night, they took turns sexually assaulting her. Teague and Partine were eventually arrested in Louisiana after Irwin left a note in a women's restroom at a gas station. Irwin also testified at Teague's trial.|
||Condemned killer David Allen Castillo was convicted in the July 14, 1983, stabbing death of
Clarencio Champion, a cashier at the Party House Liquor Store in Mercedes. Castillo confronted Champion and demanded the store's cash. When Champion resisted, Castillo attacked him with a knife. Clarencio staggered to the road outside his store and flagged down a passing car whose driver happened to be a police dispatcher. He described his assailant and police tried to stop the bleeding from his extensive stab wounds. He was cut deeply in the right arm, damaging an artery, another wound completely crossed the left side of his face, he had two stab wounds to his abdomen, and one to his throat. After several operations, Clarencio died of septic shock caused by his abdominal wounds.|
||Kenneth Stewart Jr.
||Kenneth Stewart appeared to have turned his life around when he married
Cynthia Schultz in 1986. No more drug or alcohol abuse. A steady job. Then came the biggest sign of all -- the birth of Kenneth and Cynthia's son,
Johnathon Edward. But soon after, the couple started fighting, then separated. On Mother's Day 1991, Stewart visited his wife and son in the Huddleston farmhouse they had rented from her parents. He pulled a .25-caliber pistol from his boot and shot her twice in the head. Then he walked downstairs to Johnathon's yellow playpen and fired 2 shots into the 5-month-old's head. Stewart chose to die by electrocution rather than lethal injection. Stewart declined to be interviewed, but his trial lawyer
choice may have been a way for Stewart to express remorse for what he did. "Every day on earth is torture on him," Bedford public defender Webster Hogeland said. "Now he's asking to be killed in the most torturous way he has available to him. He wants it to be horrible on him." On Mother's Day, Stewart went to visit
Johnathon. Tucked in his boot was a .25-caliber pistol. According to court statements by
Stewart, he went over to try to talk Cynthia into working things out. When she rejected him, he shot her. Then he went downstairs and shot Johnathon in his playpen. He carried Johnathon's body upstairs and placed him in Cynthia's arms. He hopped into Cynthia's car and drove to New York. Just before leaving the Huddleston area, he threw his pistol into some tall grass on the side of a road. Ruth Schultz discovered the bodies later that day. She had stopped by to thank her daughter for an African violet Cynthia had given her as a Mother's Day gift. Prosecutors argued that Stewart knew what he was doing when he shot his wife and son. Prosecutor Jim Updike described to the jury how Stewart positioned his dead son in his dead wife's arms and smoked Marlboro cigarettes after the killings. Updike showed jurors pictures of Johnathon's body. Ed and Ruth Schultz
decided not to witness the execution of their former son-in-law. Ed Schultz said
before the execution, "I really don't want to offer him any
condolences." The couple from Smith Mountain Lake expressed satisfaction in 1992
when a jury sentenced Stewart to death. Schultz said he and his wife did not want to talk with reporters anymore. Schultz said only that he and his wife will be glad when the execution is done. "My daughter -- we haven't stopped thinking about her," Schultz said.|
||Sammy Roberts killed 3
service station attendants in the Charleston area in 1980.|
||Javier Cruz was convicted of murdering
James Ryan and Louis Neal. Both murders occurred in San Antonio, Texas. On June 7, 1991, Cruz and Antonio Ovalle were hanging out under the Nolan Street Bridge in San Antonio when they were approached by seventy-one-year-old Louis Neal. After talking with Neal for a short time, Cruz asked Ovalle if he wanted to go with him to a friend's house to borrow some money. Cruz and Ovalle then walked with Neal, who was bowlegged and had trouble walking, back to a city housing complex for disabled and senior citizens. Once they arrived at the apartments, Cruz,
Ovalle, and Neal took the elevator up to Neal's sixth floor apartment. The three men began listening to music until Neal left and returned with a bottle of vodka. After Neal returned, Cruz repeatedly asked him to borrow some money. When Neal insisted that he had no money, Cruz began hitting him in the face and asking him where is the money. Neal repeated that he had no money and begged Cruz not to hit him anymore. Cruz then went through Neal's pockets and drawers before he began tying Neal up. Just before Cruz gagged him with a sock, Neal pleaded with Cruz not to kill him. At that point, Ovalle told Cruz that they should leave, but Cruz stated that they should search Neal's apartment, because Cruz was sure that Neal had some money. Cruz dragged Neal into the bathroom where he tied him to the shower railing by the neck and hanged him. Ovalle and Cruz then grabbed a television, a radio, some suits, and a black gym bag and left Neal's apartment. Prior to leaving the apartment, Cruz wiped down the entire apartment in an attempt to eliminate any fingerprints. After they left, Cruz told Ovalle that he had killed Neal because Neal knew who he was. Ovalle then returned to the bridge and Cruz went to sell the things they had stolen. Ovalle's fingerprints were identified on an ashtray found in Neal's apartment. On Sunday morning, July 14, 1991, Oscar Garza met Cruz at a house often used as a drug connection. Cruz opened the trunk of a brown Cadillac and showed some guns that he wanted to sell, including a .22 caliber rifle. Cruz and Garza subsequently left the house in Garza's black truck and drove to Our Lady of the Lake Park, where they met Ovalle and Pam Dover. Ovalle and Dover had gone to the park on Sunday morning to drink beer after spending Saturday night at the home of Ovalle's father. Cruz told Ovalle that he had some tires from a Cadillac to sell. Ovalle then left with Cruz and Garza in Garza's black truck. The three men drove to where Cruz had left the Cadillac and removed the wheels and the
floormats. They took the wheels and the floormats to a friend's house and sold them. After receiving the money for the stolen parts, Cruz,
Ovalle, and Garza went to a house next door and bought some heroin. Cruz and Garza then dropped Ovalle off back at the park, where Ovalle injected the heroin. Later, Garza and Cruz returned to the park and met Ovalle and Dover. Cruz called Ovalle over to talk to him and told him that he had a bunch of stuff at a house and he had killed the man there. Cruz told
Ovalle, "Yeah, I choked the motherf...er. He didn't want to die, man, he was putting up one hell of a fight." Cruz, Garza,
Ovalle, and Dover then got into Garza's truck, with Garza driving, Cruz in the front seat, and Ovalle and Dover in the back. They first stopped for some beer and next, at a park, where Dover got out of the truck to use the bathroom. As Dover was coming out of the bathroom, Cruz was drawing a map of the house and explaining to Ovalle where everything was in the house. Garza then drove the truck to James Ryan's house with Cruz giving him directions on how to get there. Once they reached the house, Ovalle and Dover got out of the truck and went in the back door of Ryan's house, while Garza and Cruz drove around the block. Ovalle and Dover entered Ryan's house through the back door. Dover sat down on a couch while Ovalle walked through the house grabbing a microwave, a bottle of liquor, and other items. Dover heard a dog barking, so she walked down the hallway, opened Ryan's bedroom door, and saw Ryan's body lying on the bed. Ovalle was placing the microwave and other items by the back door when he heard Dover scream. Ovalle walked down the hall and saw Dover standing by the open bedroom door with her mouth open and Ryan's body lying on the bed. Ovalle and Dover left the house and jumped in the back of Garza's truck. As they were leaving, a police car drove past the truck. Garza dropped off Ovalle and Dover and they walked home. A few days later, Cruz asked Ovalle where Dover was because he didn't trust her and wanted to "dismiss" her. Dover fled to Oklahoma, and in September of 1991, she gave a statement to San Antonio police officers. Ovalle later saw Cruz in court and Cruz told him that someone was snitching on them. Cruz also told Ovalle that he was not going to let them kill him. Fingerprints taken from a plastic grocery bag and a box of Chivas Regal found in Ryan's house matched those of Cruz. Ovalle's prints matched those found on a clock radio and a plastic silverware container that belonged to Ryan. On August 14, 1991, Olmos Park police received a call from Crime Stoppers that a man had seen Ovalle in Ryan's Cadillac. The police talked to
Ovalle, who revealed to them where he had sold the tires and the
floormats. The buyer of the parts identified Cruz as one of the men who had sold them to her. The police later talked to Pam Dover, who identified Cruz as the man responsible for the two murders. Dover and Ovalle also related that Cruz told them that he was dating homosexual men in order to support his heroin habit, and that sometimes he robbed them and sometimes he had sex with them in exchange for money to buy heroin. Neal and Ryan were both homosexuals. An autopsy revealed that Neal had been dead for between two and ten days when he was found. This finding was consistent with Neal being murdered on June 7, 1991, and the autopsy being performed on June 13. Blood found on Neal's shirt and on his floor was consistent with Cruz striking Neal on the face and dragging him into the bathroom. Neal's hands were tied behind his back with a burgundy sock, a red sock was stuffed in his mouth, and a ligature was tied tightly around his neck. The cause of death was asphyxiation by hanging. Ryan had been dead for approximately twenty-four hours before he was brought into the morgue. Ryan almost certainly died of manual strangulation. Both Neal and Ryan were extremely intoxicated at the time of their deaths.
||A man who broke into his ex-girlfriend's house in search of drugs and shot her twice in the head while she slept was executed by injection early Monday. Roderick
Abeyta, 44, had admitted that he killed
Donna Martin, 38, in Las Vegas in 1989. As prison officials led Abeyta into the death chamber, he looked at three members of Ms. Martin's family and said: ``I'm sorry. I'm sorry.'' In a September interview, Abeyta said he tried after his conviction to avoid execution, but eventually decided he did not wish to ``manipulate the system.'' Last spring he wrote a judge to say he wanted to be executed. ``I'm seeking to be held accountable for my actions,'' he said. ``I did a terrible wrong and I recognize that.'' Abeyta spent most of his adult life in prison in California and Nevada. Raised near San Francisco, Abeyta said he was abused by his father and wound up in foster homes and eventually in California Youth Authority camps. At age 14, he began using methamphetamine and at 17 he was caught driving a stolen car. He was twice convicted of robbery before he killed Ms. Martin.|
||Nobles broke into a house in Austin, Texas where
Mitzi Nalley and her roommate Kelly Farquar were living. Nobles brutally stabbed Nalley and Farquar to death and severely injured Nalley's boyfriend, Ron Ross. Ross survived the attack, despite receiving nineteen stab wounds and losing an eye. After the murders, Nobles went home and called his friend
Marly O'Brien, asking her to come over and help him. She found Nobles in the bathroom with his arm, which had been badly cut, wrapped in a towel. There was blood all over the bathroom. Nobles then changed clothes, cleaned the bathroom, and put everything with blood on it into a trash bag which he placed in the trunk of O'Brien's car. O'Brien dropped Nobles off at a friend's house, where Nobles shaved his beard and had his arm taped up. O'Brien later picked Nobles up and let him borrow her car while she went to work. Nobles lied to O'Brien and his other friends about what had happened, saying he had been involved in a fight. Based on physical evidence from the murder scene and on information obtained from O'Brien and others, Nobles was arrested. Nobles's fingerprint was found on one of the window screens found in the victims' backyard. Blood and pubic hair found at the scene were consistent with Nobles's own. Nobles confessed to the murders and then led police to where he had hidden the trash bag, containing the murder weapon and the blood-soaked clothes he had worn during the killings.
|| In Olympia WA, the state Supreme Court endorsed triple-killer Jeremy Sagastegui's wish to be executed, saying, "If there ever was a case that justified imposition of the death penalty, this is it." In its mandatory review of the death sentence, the high court unanimously concluded that Sagastegui was mentally competent to waive his right to appeal or to legal counsel, and "did so voluntarily, intelligently and knowingly." A Benton County Superior Court jury in 1996 sentenced Sagastegui, 27, to die for 3 counts of aggravated 1st-degree murder in the Nov. 19, 1995, slayings of
Keivan Sarbacher, 3; his mother, Melissa Sarbacher, 21; and her friend,
Lisa Vera-Acevado, 26, in a rural Kennewick home. Sagastegui was babysitting the boy when he beat, raped, stabbed and drowned him. He shot the women as they returned from a night on the town to eliminate witnesses. He later said he "enjoyed it." In a decision written by Justice Gerry Alexander, the court said: "If there ever was a case that justified the imposition of the death penalty, this is it. Not only did Jeremy Sagastegui freely and voluntarily plead guilty to 3 counts of premeditated murder and concede the existence of 2 aggravating circumstances, the evidence presented to the jury overwhelmingly established that there are no circumstances that merit leniency.
The record fully supports the trial court's findings that Sagastegui was competent and fully informed of his rights to counsel and appeal. That being the case, we must respect his (Sagastegui's) decision" to die, the high court said in upholding Benton County Superior Court Judge Carolyn A. Brown's finding. The high court said evidence was overwhelming that Sagastegui knew what he was doing when he committed the crimes, when he admitted guilt, and when he decided not to fight the death sentence. "I liked it. I enjoyed it," the high court quoted Sagastegui as saying. "I did something wrong. I deserve the death penalty....I'm not sorry for what I did, and I don't know how to explain that, but I'm not. Don't you get it? I killed. I loved it. I want to do it some more." The Supreme Court made its decision over the objections of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing against the execution. Jeremy Sagastegui, 27, died hours after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted a stay of execution issued Sunday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. On Nov. 19, 1995, Sagastegui beat, raped, stabbed and drowned Keivan Sarbacher, whom he was baby-sitting at a friend's home in Finley, a small town
in south-central Washington. Sagastegui then shot and killed Keivan's mother, Melissa Sarbacher, 21, and her friend Lisa Vera-Acevado, 26, when they arrived home. He later asked a jury to give him the death penalty, saying: ``I killed the kid, I killed the mother and I killed her friend. And if their friends had come over, I would've killed them, too.''|
||Dwayne Allen Wright was convicted of
murdering a Fairfax County woman during a robbery and attempted rape in
1989 outside her Annadale apartment. Wright was 17 when he stole
33-year-old Saba Tekle's car, ordered her to disrobe so he could
take her into a wooded area and rape her, then shot her in the neck when
she tried to run away. Saba, an Ethiopian immigrant, was living in
Annandale on a visitor's visa and working to bring her children, then
14, 12 and 5, to the United States when she was killed. According to
Fairfax police, Wright later told them he spotted Saba on the road,
decided to rape her, and at gunpoint, forced her to undress. She began
to do so, then fled screaming toward her apartment. Sebel Kasa had heard
her sister's screams outside and was walking toward the apartment door.
But Wright shot Saba in the back with a .38-caliber pistol, and she fell
to the ground outside the apartment door. Sebel found her sister there,
and Wright fled in Saba's car. Wright was convicted of murder during a
robbery, robbery, use of a firearm in a robbery, murder subsequent to
attempted rape and attempted rape. Wright, who had just turned 17,
had murdered 2 other people earlier that week. In a separate
incident, Wright killed a Prince George' County man, Reginald Turman.
In the Prince George's incident, he also was convicted of attempted
murder in the shooting of another man. He received two life sentences in
Turman's slaying. He also had a pending murder charge in the
District of Columbia.|
||Ronald Fitzgerald was convicted of killing a friend and a taxi driver during a 1993 crime spree that also included two abductions and two rapes.
Fitzgerald, 29, was convicted in the Jan. 29, 1993,
capital murders and robberies of acquaintance Coy M. White and a
taxi driver, Hugh E. Morrison, as well as breaking and entering
at White's house.|
||Tyrone Gilliam was convicted of first-degree murder in the Dec. 2, 1988 death of
Christine Doerfler, 21, of Baltimore. Doerfler was carjacked and robbed en route to her sister's town house in Baltimore County. She was found slumped over the wheel of her car, shot in the back of the head. Gilliam and two companions, who said they were on a rampage for drug money, netted $3 in the robbery. Gilliam and two codefendants abducted 21-year-old Christine Doerfler in December 1988, and took $3 the woman had on her. They then forced her to drive to an automated teller machine, but were unable to get money from it. After driving to a dead-end street, Gilliam put a sawed-off shotgun to the back of Miss Doerfler's head and pulled the trigger. Gilliam said the killing came during a frenzied search for drug money while he was high on PCP and crack cocaine. He confessed twice to the shooting, but later blamed the confessions on police coercion and bad legal advice. Gilliam's codefendants, brothers Tony and Kelvin Drummond, were both convicted of murder and given life sentences.
Kenneth McDuff was first sentenced to death for the 1966 murders of three teens near Dallas/Ft. Worth. He kidnapped
Mark Dunman, 15, Robert Brand, 17, and Louise
Sullivan, 16, from a ballpark where Louise was practicing parallel parking for her driving test. He kidnapped them at gunpoint, ordering them into their car trunk. He and his companion drove with them to a secluded pasture where they stopped and took Louise out of the trunk. They forced her into the trunk of McDuff's car and then he shot Robert twice in the head, and Mark once in the head, once in the face and once behind his ear, then closed the trunk and drove away with Louise. They drove to another remote area where Louise was removed from the trunk, raped repeatedly and sexually assaulted with a coke bottle and a broom handle. Louise was then strangled with the broomstick against her throat, her body dumped over a fence into the field. McDuff escaped execution with a last minute stay on four different occassions and his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 1972, with the Supreme Court decision against the death penalty. McDuff became eligible just ten years after this
triple murder, in 1976. In 1989, after fifteen parole hearings, McDuff was finally released to prey upon society again, and that he did. McDuff was finally brought back to justice after being profiled on America's Most Wanted. He received new death sentences in the murders of
Colleen Reed, 28, who was kidnapped from a car wash four days after Christmas, 1991 and pregnant mother of two
Melissa Northrup, kidnapped from the convenience store she worked at on March 1, 1992. He is the prime suspect in at least nine murders beyond the two he is back on death row for, including a couple in Missouri, where he was arrested. He has chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver and says his disease is not treatable. He said, "I consider myself dead. I'm just waiting to be buried. I've seen a guy die of a liver ailment. It was one of the worst things I've seen in my life." ( ! ) However, he says he would like to avoid the "bitterness" and "formalities" of an execution. The bodies of Regenia Moore, Brenda Thompson and Colleen Reed were all found during the month prior to McDuff's
execution due to McDuff's cooperation with giving the locations of the
bodies in exchange for a reduced sentence for his nephew on a drug
charge. McDuff also murdered Valencia Joshua.
||Kenneth L. Wilson was convicted in the 1993
stabbing death of a Newport News woman he tied to a bed and attempted to
rape. He also abducted and stabbed the woman's daughter and the
daughter's friend. Armed with a knife, Wilson entered the
home of his neighbor, Jacqueline M. Stephens, early on the
morning of March 27, 1993. Wilson was a parolee who knew Ms. Stephens
because his cousin was her boyfriend. Wilson ordered Ms. Stephens,
her 12-year-old daughter and the daughter's 14-year-old friend to
disrobe. He blindfolded the girls and tied them to a bed in the
daughter's room. Over several hours Wilson threatened the girls
and Ms. Stephens. On one visit to the girls' room he cut each of them. He then went into Ms. Stephens' room, and the girls heard her scream as
Wilson demanded her car keys. A neighbor who heard the commotion called
police when he saw Wilson drive off in Ms. Stephens' car. Police
found Ms. Stephens tied to the bed posts, her body covered with blood
and what appeared to be semen on her leg. She had been stabbed more than
10 times and her throat was slit. Her daughter's friend had a stab
wound on her neck.|
||John Noland, Jr.
||John Noland was executed more than 16 years after he murdered
Cindy Milton and Troy Milton, the sister and father of his estranged wife. Noland had repeatedly told his wife, Susan Milton Noland, that he would kill her family in Charlotte unless she returned to him. Noland had been separated from his wife, Susan for several months when he went to the home of her sister, Cindy Milton, and shot her to death Feb. 21, 1982. He then crossed the street and killed her father, Troy Milton, as he slept and wounded her mother, Mary Milton. In October 1982, a jury sentenced Noland to death. Noland said he was depressed at the time of the slayings because his wife had left him and taken their 2 young daughters with her to California. He blamed his in-laws for the marriage's failure.|
||Kevin Dwayne Cardwell cut the wrists and
throat of a 15-year-old before shooting him twice in the head in Henrico
County, Virginia. Cardwell was convicted of the Nov. 20, 1991,
slaying of Anthony Brown, 15. Brown had traveled by bus that day
from New York to visit Tina Poindexter, whom he had known in New York.
Poindexter told Cardwell that Brown would be carrying drugs. Cardwell and some friends stole Brown's duffel bag at the bus station,
but when they opened it in Cardwell's apartment they discovered it held
no drugs. Poindexter telephoned Cardwell and told him that Brown had
taped the drugs to the inside of his thigh. Cardwell then lured Brown to
his apartment on the pretext of giving back the duffel bag. When
Brown arrived at the apartment, Cardwell took the drugs on his thigh at
gunpoint. He then forced him to lie on the floor in the back of
Poindexter's car. Brown begged for his life as they drove to a shopping
center. Cardwell led Brown into the woods behind the shopping
center, where he cut Brown's wrist and throat before shooting him twice
in the head. Brown's body was discovered Jan. 26, 1992. He was
identified using dental records. Cardwell was tried in September
1993 and found guilty of capital murder, abduction, robbery and three
counts of illegal use of a firearm. His criminal record included
assault, statutory burglary, possession of marijuana and resisting
||Larry Gilbert and J.D. Gleaton, half brothers, were sentenced to death on October 7, 1977 for robbing and murdering South Congaree service station owner
Ralph Stoudemire. Both were executed on the same day. Two half brothers who killed a South Congaree gas station owner 21 years ago were executed Friday in South Carolina92s first multiple execution since 1962. Larry Gilbert, 43, and J.D. Gleaton, 53, were put to death by lethal injection for killing Ralph Stoudemire, 44, during a robbery at his station on S.C. 302 in July 1977. They stole about $200, leaving $102 in Stoudemires pants pockets. The brothers, the first men to receive death sentences under the current capital punishment law, had been on Death Row longer than any other inmates in South Carolina. The men, who grew up in separate households in the small, rural town of Salley in Aiken County, were executed 39 minutes apart. In statements read by their attorneys, both men expressed regret for their action and apologized to the Stoudemire family. Two of Stoudemires sons, Gerald and Ralph Jr., and a daughter, Sherill, witnessed the executions. There is no excuse for what happened, and I am deeply sorry for the loss and pain that I caused, Gleaton said in his final statement. He said neither he nor Gilbert was planning to rob Stoudemire when they went into the store. We were just looking for a place to buy drugs. Its hard for me to explain what happened, but I take responsibility. Gilbert said that in his final day he prayed for the Stoudemire family and all those who had been a source of strength for him while serving on Death Row. My battle is over, said Stoudemires widow, Betty Stoudemire Slusher, struggling to speak through tears. No more suffering. No more pain. Slusher said she prayed for the mens mother, Lizzie Gilbert, and felt sorry for their family. But I made a promise to Ralph Stoudemire when I stood over his body and viewed him for the last time, that I would fight to see justice was brought to him, she said. Gerald Stoudemire said he believed Gilberts and Gleatons spiritual conversion was sincere and that he was confident the two convicted murderers were now in heaven with his father. They now see what a good man he was, he said. Ralph Stoudemire Jr. said, Theres no joy in this. Theres no relief in this. No burden has been lifted here tonight. He added, This memory will stay with us forever. The pain will stay with us forever. However, he was in a forgiving spirit. Both stated to me that they are not the same men that killed my father. And I believe that.
||J. D. Gleaton
||A serial killer who blamed uncontrollable "pressures in my head" for his violent sprees was executed for murdering 3 southeast Texas women in 1987. Corwin was condemned under the state's serial killer statute for the 1987 deaths of
Alice Martin, 72; Debra Lynn Ewing, 36; and Mary Carrell
Risinger, 36. Martin was abducted while walking near her home in Feb. 1987. She was found in a county field, raped, strangled and stabbed. Ewing was abducted in July 1987 from her job at a Huntsville eyeglass office; she was found 2 days lalter, also raped, strangled and stabbed. And Risinger was fatally stabbed while washing her car at a Hunstville car wash in Oct. 1987; her 3-year-old daughter, who was inside the vehicle, watched the attack. Corwin had a history of sexual assaults beginning as a teenager and was serving a 99-year sentence for attempted capital murder from another county when he confessed to killing the 3 women.|
||Jeff Emery, 39, from Hennepin County, Minn., was being held in St. Paul, Minn., on three counts of burglary when he was arrested for the 1979 murder of a Texas A&M University student at her apartment in College Station. Authorities said
LaShan Muhlinghaus, 19, was raped and fatally stabbed when she walked in after Emery had broken into her place. The murder went unsolved for four years until Emery's ex-wife went to police in Milwaukee with information about how he came home that night covered with blood.|
||Tuan Anh Nguyen
|| A Tulsa man who fatally stabbed and slashed his wife and 2 children in her care is the next man in line to be executed in Oklahoma. Tuan "Tommy Wing" Nguyen, 38, was convicted and sentenced to death for the May 24, 1982, murders of 6-year-old
Joseph White and 3-year- old Amanda Jo White. The children's parents found them and Nguyen's 21-year-old wife, Donna, dead when the parents returned to their home.
Donna Nguyen had been caring for the children, who were her relatives, while their parents were away. Nguyen was sentenced to life imprisonment for his wife's murder. Tuan Nguyen, also known by his chosen Americanized name, "Tommy Wing," was arrested in Arizona four years after his
the victims were found stabbed to death in Oklahoma. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 1986. Prosecutors say that he stabbed his wife, Donna, 26 times; his 3-year-old niece, Amanda, 22 times; and his 6-year-old nephew, Joseph, 17 times. Mr. Nguyen was arrested in Arizona in 1986 after a fight with a 14-year-old girl with whom he had been living.|
||Louis Truesdale, Jr.
||Louis Truesdale was convicted in the 1980 kidnapping, rape and murder of 18-year-old
Rebecca Ann Eudy. After kidnapping Ms. Eudy from a parking lot on April 5, 1980, Truesdale shot her 4 times, then raped her as she bled to
death. He had told investigators that a stranger he picked up forced him at gunpoint to commit the crimes. "Louis Joe Truesdale Jr. has lived on death row as long as Rebecca "Becky" Eudy walked the earth. There is something wrong with that," said 6th Circuit Solicitor John Justice, who sent Truesdale to prison for shooting the 18-year-old and raping her as she bled to death in a field outside of Lancaster in 1980. The 18 years of waiting have taken a toll. Justice admits some details about his 1st death penalty case are lost in the fog of time. The sheriff and lead investigator in the case are both dead, and the health of Becky Eudy's father, Earl, is fading. "He's got a humongous aneurysm, and he goes on dialysis 3 days a week," Becky Eudy's mother Evelyn explains, saying that her husband planned to attend Truesdale's execution by lethal injection on Friday but can't make it. Instead, Becky Eudy's 3 brothers, along with Justice, will be at the Broad River Correctional Institution in Columbia to watch the 40-year-old die exactly 18 years to the day a Lancaster County jury 1st sentenced him to death. Truesdale's impending death does little to comfort Becky Eudy's parents. "There are no words that can tell you how we feel. No words can even come close to explaining it," Evelyn Eudy said. "We're not gloating over this. This is not a happy time for
us. Look at the police records. This has come up either at Christmas or Easter almost every time," she said. The suffering for the Eudy family began April 4, 1980, when Becky Eudy went out with a friend. When she returned to her car at the Bi-Lo parking lot off S.C. 9 Bypass in Lancaster, Truesdale approached her, according to police. He forced her into the passenger seat at gunpoint and drove off, eventually going north to Craig Farm Lane. Sometime during the trip, Truesdale shot Eudy 3 or 4 times, Justice said. Truesdale pulled off the road, and drove down an old, grass-covered trail which was nothing more than 2 ruts in the ground. He then raped Becky Eudy as she bled to death, police said. "I've seen some bad ones, but this was about the worst," said retired Lancaster Sheriff's Office Detective Sam Hatcher, who was one of 2 lead investigators in the case. A small stroke has taken most of the details of the case from Hatcher's mind, but he still remembers how Eudy died. "It was bad to do a young girl that way," Hatcher said. "Just the way that she died was terrible." The morning after the killing, Lancaster Police Chief Frank Harris was going through some reports when one caught his eye. The report detailed how a suspicious man tried to abduct another woman in a nearby parking lot but failed. The car the man drove was owned by Louis Truesdale. "That's one of those things where I'd rather be lucky than good," Justice said. Deputies brought Truesdale in. His alibi didn't match up. He refused to talk to anyone except Jimmy Brown, then a sergeant in the sheriff's office. "He said he wanted to carry me to where the body was. So we went out," Brown said. Truesdale led Brown into a big field the night after he abducted Eudy. As dawn approached, the spotlight on Brown's car caught Becky Eudy's body in the field. "He was really shook up," Brown said. "He just started crying and shaking and said "They made me do it, they made me do it.'" Truesdale's defense never wavered. He claimed someone held a gun to his head and made him rape Becky Eudy. That same man shot Eudy and then tried to kill Truesdale. Denehy insists some evidence raises doubts about Truesdale's conviction.
The gun used to shoot Eudy was found at Truesdale's ouse in Heath Springs.
Appeals forced the state try the entire case again, and a few years later, chose 12 more jurors for another penalty phase. Each time, Truesdale was found guilty and sentenced to death. Tom Landiss, a spokesman for the S.C. Attorney General's Office, who has handled the case since the appeals portion began, said, "He's had 36 jurors, all of whom gave him the death penalty. And some 18 years in appeals at virtually every level of the judicial system." Truesdale's 18 years on death row
were the longest stint by any S.C. inmate. "It shouldn't take that long," Landiss said. "If you can cut it from 21 years to 5 or 6 years, you are getting a little closer to the fact that the crime and the punishment are connected." The arbitrary way Truesdale chose his victim and the brutality of the crime sticks in Justice's mind. "The thing that always separated this from most crimes is it was a totally random act," Justice said. "Any woman in Lancaster could have been the victim that night."|
||In Huntsville, a 42-year-old man was executed for the 1981slaying of a Houston man during a $1.1 million armored car heist. James Ronald Meanes was pronounced dead at 6:36 p.m., 8 minutes after an executioner began the flow of lethal drugs. "As the ocean always returns to itself, love always returns to itself," Meanes said in his brief final statement. "So does consciousness always return to itself. And I do so with love on my lips. May God bless all mankind." The victim's 3 grown children - Teresa, Scarlet, and Oliver Flores - witnessed the execution of their father's killer along with their aunt and uncle, Maria and Patrick Salinas. "At least I don't have any more monsters in my closet," said Teresa Flores, 26. "You know, I have a face with my monster now and realize it's not a monster, it's an actual person. It makes it easier to deal with the pain." Meanes declined to file last-minute appeals, saying he didn't want to postpone his inevitable fate. He was 25 when he and co-defendant Sandoval "Carlos" Santana were convicted and each sentenced to death for the April 12, 1981 shooting of Purolator Armored Inc. guard
Oliver Flores, 29. Defense attorney Stanley Schneider said his client is a man transformed by his 17 years behind bars. "He's not the person that went out and committed an armored car robbery," Schneider said. "He's not that same person." On that spring day in 1981, Meanes and Santana emptied their shotguns and pistols, firing into the armored van Flores was driving as he made a scheduled stop at a Houston department store. They stole 12 money sacks containing $1.1 million and fled into a nearby wooded area, where they were caught about an hour later. Prosecutors never were able to determine which man's bullet killed Flores. Santana, a native of the Dominican Republic, was executed in 1993. But judicial oversight resulted in an additional 7 years on death row for Meanes after prosecutors lost track of his case once a federal judge rejected an appeal in 1988. Prosecutors did nothing until 1995 because they didn't realize the judge had ruled in the case. The case file had been unopened for so long it was shipped to an archives office in Fort Worth. The mistake was discovered when the Harris County district attorney's office began a review of lingering
||John Duvall was sentenced for the Sept. 15, 1986, death of his 30-year-old wife,
Karla Duvall. The woman was found dead in the couple's residence at the Chickasaw Nation Apartment Complex in Duncan. Prosecutors say Duvall confessed to stabbing her during an argument and then finishing her off by suffocating her with a pillow. She had been stabbed 25 times with various kitchen knives and a meat fork. Brake said a district attorney's narrative of the crime describes Duvall as a chronic alcoholic who first stabbed his wife with a meat fork. When it bent, he grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed her 2 dozen more times before bathing her and smothering her with a pillow, the report said. Stephens County District Attorney Gene Christian said Duvall had planned to commit suicide by throwing himself in front of a train. But after waiting a while for one to come through, Duvall gave up, went to the local courthouse and confessed to a county commissioner, Christian said. "It has been 12 long, painful years for me and my family to see justice served and now the time has come for judgment day, and just maybe now I can find peace and some form of closure out of this ordeal," said Teresa Perkins, Mrs. Duvall's daughter from a previous marriage.|
||Andrew Smith beat and stabbed to death an elderly couple who refused to let him borrow their car. Smith was convicted of the May 28, 1983, murders of
Corrie Johnson, 86, and his 82-year-old wife, Christy Johnson of Pendleton. Johnson was stabbed 27 times and his wife 17 times; both were also pistol-whipped. The Johnsons were Smith's second cousins. Smith's family rented a house from the couple and Smith had asked to borrow their car. He killed them when they refused his request, state attorney general's spokesman Robb McBurney said. Smith has been on death row since 1984.|
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